If it's about the Cowboy's and is published in a public forum, chances are, my eyes don't miss it. Regardless of my opinion of the writer, which varies from one media outlet to the next, I give each article a fair shake, not so much as a result of them being deserving, but by virtue of my ardent insatiable Cowboy information addiction. In my daily dose, I must weather quite a bit of negative speculation; which I'm okay with for the most part, considering that in many cases in the past it has been deserved. But sometimes the media's opinion will take a quote and completely twist it around to make the news more interesting and more marketable. I further believe they do this because it creates an opening for them to write more articles on the same subject either posting a retraction or to further prove their assertion, with, in the end, helps them meet whatever quota their bosses demand of them.
Last year, this issue, in my mind, was an epidemic, which led to Jerry Jones finally imposing a mandate that gagged the whole of the organization from speaking to the media during the early part of the off-season; Jerry being the only exception to the rule. I, personally, applauded this move. The media, obviously, was pretty upset about it. But when you take words out of the owner's mouth such as, "I was told he was healthy enough to play" said in regards to Marion Barber, and turn it into "Jerry Jones calls Marion Barber a wuss," you have to know there will be consequences.
Nevertheless, it's a new year, and the mediots are at it again. With it sprung in my head an idea: There should be some forum that makes an effort at keeping these particular media members honest. Just as they notoriously paraphrase the various gum-bumping of members of the Cowboys organization, so shall I do what I can to paint the picture that was originally intended by the benefactor of said quote.
The latest quote receiving negative attention is Jerry Jones assertion that he believes the Cowboy's team will play to the level of the new stadium; that these player's will feel a slight push towards winning surrounded by a structure that could only be described as elite compared to it's peers Texas Stadium and the Cotton Bowl, as well any other stadium ever built in the world. While the following doesn't exactly twist Jerry's word's, it is worthy of correction.
In Jean-Jacques Taylor blog entry "Jerry Jones has lost his mind," he contends that the stadium will have absolutely no effect on the players or the outcome in the game.
Jerry Jones is a marketing genius, but he has lost his mind if he thinks Cowboys Stadium will make a single bit of difference in the team's performance this year.
Just like the emotion of the final game at Texas Stadium didn't help the Cowboys beat Baltimore last December. And just like the raucous crowd the night "The Triplets" were inducted into the Ring of Honor didn't help the Cowboys beat the hated Redskins.
I suppose it's fairly easy to take this out of context; not much reaching is necessary to do so. And, granted, the last thing I want anybody within the organization vocalizing is lofty expectations, such as the Cowboy's being Super Bowl bound in 2009. But I think what Jerry was trying to relate to the media is that this team is going to fight to make us forget 44 to 6, 9 and 7, and 12 years without a play off win. And this stadium, built with the teams storied history and prior dynasties in mind, is going to motivate them all the more to ensure their play reflects the excellence that their predecessor's demanded of themselves.
Furthermore, the interior of Cowboy's stadium creates an atmosphere ripe for a fanatic frenzy. As you walk from your car to your seat, having been inundated with Cowboy's lore and past glory, I would imagine you won't be able to resist screaming at the top of your lungs as the Cowboy's take the field, move the ball, and destroy the opposing team's various ball carriers and signal callers. JJT seems to believe that the price of the ticket will ultimately create a golf crowd, highlighted by the occasional clinking of glasses, as the fans toast various well-performed plays, considering his quote:
Actually, Jerry should be concerned that there will be so many corporate butts in the stands that it'll be a quieter venue Texas Stadium, known for being a wine-and-cheese crowd.
Yeah, okay. If you say so, Jean.
Those "corporate butts" at the end of the day are still human, and chances are they are still fans, and therefore are not immune to getting drawn into the hype that just sitting in that stadium must create. Also, I would further predict that the ability to see every detail of the game in high definition via that 60 yard long big screen will help fuel the excitement. Make no mistake, the media may need to yell their questions at the top of their lungs in the wake of a football game, as they question the ringing ears of players from both sides of the field.
But, hey, that's just me speculating from a positive angle. As the season progresses, I'm sure the media will afford me plenty of opportunities to offer up a corrected translation of what was actually said vs. their misguided misinformation.
WR Randall Cobb Named Cowboys “Surprise Standout” for Offseason
NFL teams have wrapped up their offseason activities with the close of OTAs, especially where the players are concerned, and await the start of training camps next month. In reviewing the last few months, ESPN had their local reporters each pick a surprise standout from their team's practices. Todd Archer, who covers the Dallas Cowboys full time, selected veteran receiver Randall Cobb.
Cobb is in his first season with Dallas after signing as a free agent last March. He's spent the last eight years with the Green Bay Packers and was a Pro Bowler in 2014, but has struggled with injuries the last few seasons.
Here were Archer's observations on how Randall is doing so far with the Cowboys:
Normally a player with Cobb's résumé -- 470 catches for 5,524 yards and 41 touchdowns during his career -- would not be considered for a category like this. But injuries limited him to only nine games and 38 catches for Green Bay in 2018, and it was hard to know what the Cowboys were getting in the veteran receiver.
If the offseason work is any indication, they have found a replacement for Cole Beasley. Cobb's versatility can expand the offense for others, such as Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. Cobb looked quick in and out of his breaks and fast enough to make plays down the field. Will he put up the 1,287 yards he had in 2014? No, but he gives Dak Prescott a security blanket in the slot who can turn a small gain into a big one.
The notion of Cobb replacing Beasley is a big one. While we'd like to think that Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup will provide plenty of firepower for the Cowboys offense, Dak Prescott has enjoyed a reliable threat from the slot position since he arrived.
Randall Cobb, when healthy, can do more than just make clutch catches. He has good run-after-catch skills and perhaps bring more big play potential than Beasley did.
If Cooper and Gallup do emerge as a dangerous starting duo on the outside, Cobb should have even more opportunities to punish defenses than Beasley did.
If nothing else, it's very encouraging to hear that one of the Cowboys' few 2019 free agent moves is already reaping benefits. Cobb still needs to bring it over a full season to really justify the move, but these early reports are cause for excitement.
BREAKING: Cowboys TE Rico Gathers Receives One-Game Suspension
Tight End Rico Gathers already had an uphill climb to return to the Dallas Cowboys' 53-man roster in 2019. But that climb just got even steeper; the NFL handed down a one-game suspension to Gathers today for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
If he does make the team this year, with Dallas or anyone else, Rico will have to sit out Week One of the season without pay.
Cowboys TE Rico Gathers is suspended without pay for the first game of the 2019 regular season for violating the NFL's policy and program on substances of abuse. This is from his arrest in 2018 for marijuana possession.
Gathers' chances of returning in 2019 were already hurt by Jason Witten's reversed retirement. He dropped to fourth on the TE depth chart behind Witten, Blake Jarwin, and Dalton Schultz, and Dallas only kept three tight ends last year.
The Cowboys also added Codey McElroy as a developmental player during the offseason.
While the suspension is news, the incident that led to it is not. Dallas already knew about the arrest, which occurred in early September of 2018, and have kept Gathers around up until now.
The NFL's substance abuse system is pretty formulaic, so the Cowboys likely anticipated this suspension all along. This may not change anything about how they value Rico Gathers for the 2019 season.
Nevertheless, a player who can't help you in Week One and is a liability for ever longer suspensions down the road is definitely a red flag against Gathers' job security.
Antwaun Woods: Cowboys DT is Just Getting Started
Antwaun Woods went undrafted in 2016 coming out of USC. After two years with the Tennessee Titans, he would only see one game of action. In May of 2018, the Cowboys signed Woods to a two-year contract worth 1.05 million. Probably seen as nothing more than a practice squad guy, Woods would quickly show he was much more than that.
The newly acquired Woods started his climb to stardom in Oxnard during training camp, and not for making plays. One day during practice he got into a friendly game of fisticuffs with All-Pro Center Travis Frederick. The team even posted the video on social media, which had fans buzzing and wanting to know who he was.
All-Pro Running Back Ezekiel Elliott echoed those thoughts when he saw Woods during camp. "Honestly, when we first got him, we were like, 'Who is this guy?'. He was giving Travis Frederick, one of our best players, hell all camp. Just trying to figure out where this guy came from," Elliott said.
Once the regular season started it was clear the Cowboys had found a hidden gem. Although the sack numbers won't dazzle you, seeing as he only registered 1.5, you could forget about running the ball anywhere near him. Woods has amazing quickness for a 300 pounder which allows him to extend his arms before offensive lineman can get a hand on him.
How significant is that? It becomes that much easier to bull rush and blow running plays up in the backfield.
When you can get your hands on an offensive lineman immediately when the ball is snapped, he's basically under your control. You can move him around like a puppet on a string. Essential for a 1-technique nose tackle. With that being said, there should be no surprise the Cowboys finished fifth against the run in 2018 with Woods manning the middle.
Woods draws a lot of double teams, and he handles them well. Having the ability to take on multiple linemen frees up your other playmakers. As the anchor in the middle, Woods made life a lot easier for not only his fellow defensive linemen but the team's two young star Linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. Allowing them to roam freely like Lions in the Serengeti makes running backs essentially Zebra's carrying the ball, cooked food. So much so that both tallied over 120 tackles and were the only teammates in the NFL to rank in the top 15 in that category.
There's nothing but upside with Antwaun Woods. He's only had 18 games of experience in three years. He's already a stud, but with limited snaps, it can only mean he'll be even more formidable going forward.
The Cowboys have a loaded defensive lineman group with around 15 bodies, plenty of competition. All signs point to him remaining the starter, but it's not guaranteed. Even with that being said I don't expect a complacency from Woods, especially with DeMarcus Lawrence and Robert Quinn looking like the only sure starters on the defensive line. Plus this is a contract year for him, so you know he'll be even more motivated as he tries to maximize his dollars. We've only seen the tip of the iceberg from this raw talent, setting up for a potential breakout year for him in 2019.
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